Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


This Onion-style story was written by Oshkosh Northwestern reporter Alex Hummel. While not technically factual, it may be the finest journalism he has yet produced. I thought it was funny, so I'm posting it here.

Star Danson agrees; Can't remember ever making sitcom for CBS

Chapel Hill, N.C. -- A new study by a University of North Carolina researcher raises serious questions about how and why the CBS television sitcom "Becker" ever wound up in syndication.

"This is no Cheers, no Friends, no Seinfeld," concludes "'Becker': What the Hell is Going on Here," a report by Mass Communications Professor Martin Greenblaum. "The research conducted to form this report found no scientific reason for 'Becker's' creation, let alone a sound rationale for its release to the syndicated TV world. Someone, somewhere, needs to be fired. Immediately.'"

The turn-of-the-21st Century program, which originated on CBS, centers on a surly, smoking doctor played by Ted Danson -- best known for his role as playboy bartender Sam Malone in NBC's successful "Cheers" series.

Becker, a physician, interacts with a band of dysfunctional urbanites who frequent a dirty coffee shop and try to help guide the grumpy doctor's reluctant embrace of the day-to-day triumphs and tribulations of human existence. It's supposed to be funny but is not.

Ratings show the show's primetime network run had marginal success, at best.

"Which is why we are absolutely, fish-slap dumbfounded as to how some executive driving a Porsche 911 and living in the Hollywood hills ever found reason to launch the series into syndication," Greenblaum said. "I mean, c'mon. Becker? ... BECKER?"

"Becker" producer Jill McFlarney said Greenblaum's study was "not entirely" off-base "but enough to sound a tad mean-spirited... if you are one of the few people who actually watched the show and, for some reason, found its boring storylines and forgettable characters kind of endearing or something."

Danson told the Associated Press that he agrees with the study's findings and "could not recall" making the show.

"Seriously, 'Becker,' you say?" Danson told a reporter. "No. Can't say I remember it. Was Steve Guttenberg involved? No... wait... that's the one with the ... wait... Did I mention I had a bit part in 'Saving Private Ryan?'"

Greenblaum's study will be published in "The Journal of Mediocre Background Entertainment (JOMBE)" next month.

He's currently investigating the disturbing trend of Howie Mandel.


Anonymous gavin said...

I like Becker. I would gladly watch back-to-back reruns of Becker instead of Cheers.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

My god, Gavin. Once again, you demonstrate shocking bad taste. I kinda wish you hated my columns again. Maybe I was doing something right before.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Steve on this one. Becker Sucks!
Steve - Do I hear a Suck/Lame Vote coming on?

1:53 PM  
Blogger mark said...

maybe if we're going for all time low voter turnout

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Point Mark!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

gavin and steve should have a taste-off

6:48 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

I think Cheers was probably funny at the time, but most of the jokes on it are now very stale and don't stand up to modern standards.

Though, at the same time, I deplore "Friends" and any show that revolves around sex or jokes about sex.

Becker is the happy middle ground for me - not stale, tastefully subversive, and family-friendly.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Steve Kabelowsky said...

I can't wait for the DVD release. I'll pick it up after getting "Grace Under Fire" and "Vinnie & Bobby"

4:39 PM  

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